1. rnc620's Avatar
    I'm curious if there are any devices other than the Nexus 5 that can switch between Sprint and ATT? My husband and I are considering going to a monthly plan (straight talk?). We are moving to the country where we've heard only ATT works. However, at my husband's job only Sprint works. So we'd like to find a phone that he can switch from one to the other based on how well it works for him (ie if sprint just isn't working well enough he can switch over to ATT the next month or vice versa). We just aren't sure what is going to work out and don't want to purchase a phone and then end up stuck with that carrier if the service isn't working out.

    Any advice would be great. This is such a confusing subject.
    09-15-2014 12:25 PM
  2. IAmSixNine's Avatar
    There arent a whole lot of official devices like that.
    Mainly because your dealing with Sprint who is a CDMA carrier and ATT who is a GSM carrier. Because CDMA is ESN based some do not have a GSM chipset in them. However a few years ago people started to want phones for international use. Long story short you would be looking for a Sprint official phone with a GSM chipset (international roaming) that can be unlocked and used with ATT frequency bands where ever your living. More then likely 800mhz and 1900mhz.
    Now it CANT go the other way around. In order for a phone to work with Sprint it has to be Sprint branded otherwise the ESN is not in their system and they will not accept it on their network. You will not find an ATT branded phone with CDMA in it nor would it be allowed on the Sprint network. So a Verizon phone for example would be a CDMA device but Sprint wouldnt accept it.
    If your truly worried about coverage an unlocked phone may not work as well as a branded device.
    My recommendation to you, test when you get to your new location then make a decision after that.
    You may be required to carry 2 different devices if the budget warrants.
    OR you may opt to use Sprint since it works in the office and when your home you may have to rely on their new WiFi calling service to overcome the lack of coverage at home.
    Dont make a decision yet because you have not tested the service in the new location. Only you will be able to do that.
    09-15-2014 01:18 PM
  3. rnc620's Avatar
    Thanks for the advice! That is exactly what I needed to know on the sprint to att issue! Do you know if there is a list of these phones out there? I will google it, I'm just amazed at how hard it is to find info on this topic with a simple google search.
    We actually do have the new home but it's under reno right now so we aren't living there yet. We currently have Verizon and that doesn't work at all. I'm concerned about not having cellphones while driving home if we go with Sprint.... I can just see one of us hitting a deer and being stranded in the middle of nowhere. My husband is nonplussed by the topic. and is considering do just what you said with Sprint.
    Why do non branded phones not work as well as branded? Does this mean the Nexus 5 won't be a good option for us? My brother has a Nexus 5 on sprint. He said that where he lives he gets horrible speed with it but that his coworker has the same phone on ATT and gets great speed. That is likely a network issue and not a branding issue though I would imagine.
    There are so many factors to consider!
    09-15-2014 01:33 PM
  4. rnc620's Avatar
    Also, I am basing the ATT service need on the next door neighbors advice. They just switched from Sprint to ATT because they got horrible reception with Sprint. They were over visiting while we were working and their phones seemed to be working. I am not sure how well they work compared to what I am used to though... spoiled from "city living" lol.
    09-15-2014 01:36 PM
  5. IAmSixNine's Avatar
    I was actually going to recomend talking to neighbors ( several if you can) and see what service they have and get a feel for how well they like it. As far as branding goes, its more of an optimization to the specific network of each carrier. Most of the time unlocking a generic phone or another carrirers phone works but you might miss out on certain tweaks that a carrier puts in the radios ( firmware and hardware) to make them work better.
    For example with my T-Mobile Note 3 in the past 3 months have been several small updates first enable VoLTE then to update it to work better and most recently update the WiFi calling.
    My HTC One M8 also got a recent update for system improvements, LTE and WiFi calling improvements. Stuff like that are specific to carrier branded phones.
    The Nexus 5 is a good phone, i have one as well but because they have to make it work with so many carriers i feel a slight bias towards it not working 100% as good as a branded one. But thats just me.
    I left Sprint 2 years ago and am so happy i went with TMO.
    09-15-2014 05:36 PM
  6. natehoy's Avatar
    Thanks for the advice! That is exactly what I needed to know on the sprint to att issue! Do you know if there is a list of these phones out there?
    I believe on Sprint you would just narrow your search using "worldmode", then do a google search for "sprint (phone model)" to verify it has GSM.

    UPDATE: The Samsung Galaxy S4, currently free on Sprint, has a GSM radio according to several sources. The kicker, though, is that Sprint appears to solder in their SIM cards, so you have to use their "WorldMode" service to access local GSM signals out of the country. So it's not as simple as "buy a Sprint phone with GSM, unlock it, use your carrier of choice."
    09-16-2014 03:24 PM
  7. sierrajinx9's Avatar
    Sprint GALAXY S4 and S5, HTC EVO 4G LTE, IPHONE 5S/5C all work with both SPRINT and ATT
    09-23-2014 12:33 PM

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